Extractions – What To Do After Dental Extraction

what to do after dental extraction

Before you have 1 or more teeth removed, it is important to understand what to do after dental extraction to make sure your gums have an opportunity to fully heal.

When a tooth is damaged so much that it’s impossible to repair anymore, or if your wisdom teeth come in impacted – which they usually do – then it may be necessary to extract or remove the problem tooth from its socket in the bone to prevent further complications.

While this may sound scary, modern dental procedures, as well as the recommended follow up ensure that you are as comfortable as you can be before, during and after the procedure.

What To Expect

The procedure is rather simple and straightforward. The dentist will simply numb the area around the affected tooth to lessen any pain and remove it quickly. Seldom do dentists have to resort to using general anesthesia, which completely knocks the patient out. A small amount of bleeding is considered relatively normal in such procedures.

After the extraction, the dentist will then advise you with the post extraction regimen to follow. Although the dentist may choose to place a medicated dressing in the socket, or require you to wear a wet gauze pressed gently against the affected areas to slow the natural bleeding and stimulate a clot. The clot is what will eventually become the healing tissue that fills the hole in your gum and bone. The dentist may also prescribe you with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, like aspirin or ibuprofen.

What Not To Do

Try your best to be careful to not disrupt the clot to avoid what’s known as dry socket, which not only is quite painful, but will also prolong the healing process. You may also want to avoid drinking through a straw, smoking, rising your mouth vigorously, as well as doing sucking motions, as these actions may end up dislodging the clot and delay the healing process.

If you must rinse, do so gently. If the tooth gets too painful or swells, you may apply a cold cloth or an ice bag over the affected area, as well as take the prescribed pain medication.

As for brushing and flossing, your dentist may recommend that you use a different toothbrush as the surgical area heals, preferably one with very gentle and delicate bristles. This helps make sure that the affected areas are still kept clean, while the stitches and healing tissues remain unharmed.

What To Eat

Try to stay away from chewy foods as well as hard, overly crunch foods such as chips, hard nuts, and pop corns because of their potential for gum tissue damage. Spicy foods are a big no as well as they could irritate the affected area.

To prevent any delays in the healing process, plan a diet for the week following the procedure that consists of plenty of vitamins, minerals and protein. It’s a huge plus if they’re relatively easy to chew and swallow, such as yogurt, ice cream, and cottage cheese. Home-made fruit smoothies are excellent as well. Just make sure to remember not to use a straw.

Other possible substitutes to your usual meals are eggs, soft fish, finely cut meat, mashed potatoes, oatmeal and soups.

Tooth extraction, while admittedly painful, can prove to be necessary to make sure that your teeth and gums remain healthy at all times.

Now that you know what to expect after a tooth extraction, you should be well on your way to recovery soon enough.

If you have any questions or concerns about a tooth extraction contact Dr. Graham Farless DDS at 336-282-2868. The doctor and his helpful staff will provide you with any information you need and can schedule an appointment. www.gsodentist.com.